CYCLE lane maintenance must be improved if we want more people to get on their bikes after lockdown, a councillor has claimed.

Dave Harris, Labour county councillor for Maypole division, took his trusty bicycle out along all the cycle routes in Monkwick as well as along Berechurch Hall Road in Colchester.

Mr Harris said he was shocked by the state of the bushes and shrubs, with many overhanging onto the paths and even blocking road signs.

He has now written to Essex County Council bosses calling for urgent action.

“Bearing in mind Essex County Council and the Government are promoting cycling as an alternatives to buses, cars and journeys which put people at risk due to the inability to socially distance, I had to let the council know how badly overgrown the cycle routes are,” Mr Harris said.

“One was so overgrown safety road signs, speed signs and warnings about slowing down before roundabouts, are completely invisible to cars.

“It should be done urgently as the Government lockdown is being partially eased with some non-essential shops being allowed to open.”

He added: “The Government are calling for more green ways and certainly safer ways to travel to and from shops, work, and indeed for exercise, so this work needs to be targeted in support of this aim.”


Last week, it was announced Essex County Council will receive £1.9 million from the Government as part of its Emergency Active Travel Funding initiative.

The scheme has been designed to provide pop-up and temporary interventions to create an environment safe for walking and cycling.

In total the Government will provide £225 million to transport authorities and London boroughs with a further £25 million helping to support cycle repair schemes.

The funding allocated to local authorities will be released in two phases, with the first tranche of £45 million being released as soon as possible.

The council expects the first £1.9 million award to be 20 per cent of the final funding which will be supplied.

A spokesman for County Hall said: “We are currently looking at the maintenance required across the cycling and pedestrian network, including in these areas, as well as at opportunities for this maintenance work to be brought forward to support residents to use more sustainable transport across the county.

“Any issues found with vegetation as part of this review will be logged and dealt with accordingly.

“If there is a specific area residents are concerned about, we would encourage them to please report this to us.”

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